Global climate drives southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) population dynamics

Sea surface temperature (SST) time-series from the southwest Atlantic and the El Niño 4 region in the western Pacific were compared to an index of annual calving success of the southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) breeding in Argentina. There was a strong relationship between right whale calving output and SST anomalies at South Georgia in the autumn of the previous year and also with mean El Niño 4 SST anomalies delayed by 6 years. These results extend similar observations from other krill predators and show clear linkages between global climate signals and the biological processes affecting whale population dynamics.


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Authors: Leaper, Russell, Cooke, Justin, Trathan, Phil ORCIDORCID record for Phil Trathan, Reid, Keith, Rowntree, Victoria, Payne, Roger

On this site: Philip Trathan
1 January, 2006
Biology Letters / 2
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